Pioneer Plaza covers 4.2 acres in Downtown Dallas. There are some 40 bronzed longhorn steers setting a trail down a small hillside as if on a cattle drive.
The Trees and Parks Foundation dedicated this plaza in 1995, to represent the early cattle drives that were part of Texas history.
The artist was native Texan Robert Summers.
Along with the magnificent steers, you will also see life-like bronzed cowboys on horseback. This particular site was the original site of the Shawnee Cattle Trail, which began back in 1854.
The whole cattle scene is supposed to be the largest bronze monument in the world.
Set on a raised area of downtown Dallas, the cemetery was originally known as the Masonic Cemetery, and dates back to the be early days of city's history.
It became the final resting place for four Dallas mayors, as well as heroes and early businessleaders of the Texas revolution.
The western edge of the cemetery was excavated in 1907 by the Santa Fe railroad when they cleared a path for freight and passengers to its terminal downtown.
The final internment was recorded in 1921 due to limited space and no room for expansion. In 1961 there was an addition to Pioneer Park of a 60ft marbe and grainite Confederate War Memorial which was moved from Old City Park. Built in 1896, it is believed to be the city's oldest outdoor sculpture.
When I came to Dallas for a convention in 1997, one of the things on the city tour was this group of sculptures that represent a cattle drive. The tour guide said that the developer Trammel Crow 'railroaded' the park through.
Some folks felt that this site next to the Convention Center should have a hotel for folks that were attending the conventions. Many also felt that this sculpture was not appropriate for Dallas because it is Fort Worth that is the 'cow town' - Dallas was more sophisticated than that.
The city council eventually approved the project so long as it was privately funded.
In any case, this is a welcome bit of green space next to the Convention Center, and the sculpture is an outstanding one.
One of the reasons for the name of Pioneer Plaza might be this little cemetery. Included in the cemetery are "remnants from four other previous cemeteries" (according to the sign on the site) including two that were associated with early Dallas fraternal organiations, the Masons and the Oddfellows. One section came from a Hebrew Benevolent Association, and the fourth section was the old city cemetery. The earliest grave dates back to 1853. The last burial here was in the 1920s.
Several early political leaders are buried here according to the Political Graveyard website including:
* John M. Crockett (1816-1887) Born December 26, 1816. Mayor of Dallas, Tex., 1857-58, 1859-61, 1865-66. Died August 4, 1887. Interment at Pioneer Cemetery.
* John William Crowdus (1828-1895) -- also known as J. W. Crowdus -- of Dallas, Dallas County, Tex. Born in Marietta, Cobb County, Ga., July 6, 1828. Druggist; mayor of Dallas, Tex., 1881-83. Died September 11, 1895. Interment at Pioneer Cemetery.
* Samuel B. Pryor (1816-1866) Born in 1816. Mayor of Dallas, Tex., 1856-57; served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Died in 1866. Interment at Pioneer Cemetery.
* John Jay Good (1827-1882) Born July 21, 1827. Mayor of Dallas, Tex., 1880-81. Died September 17, 1882. Interment at Pioneer Cemetery.
* Nicholas Henry Darnell (1807-1885) Born April 20, 1807. Speaker of the Texas Republic House of Representatives; member of Texas Republic Senate, 1845. Member, Freemasons. Died in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Tex., June 7, 1885. Interment at Pioneer Cemetery.
The graveyard was originally laid out on a hill to keep it out of the flood plane of the Trinity River.
In 1997, I left the Convention Center and took this picture of the Confederate Memorial. I was particularly interested in the mounted police patrols that started out in this area, but I can't find my pictures of them right now.
In any case, the top of the memorial has a Confederate soldier. At the corners stand statues are Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Albert Johnston. Albert Johnston apparently was a Civil War General.
[In 1862, General Grant advanced into Tennessee, aiming to capture its vital waterways. On April 6, Confederate forces under General Albert Johnston caught Union forces by surprise near Shiloh Church. The battle culminated in an area along an abandoned wagon road later dubbed "The Hornet's Nest" because of the ferocity of the fighting. ]
The memorial was restored and rededicated by the Dallas Chapter 6, UDC. I know that DC stands for Daughters of the Confederacy, and possiblty the U stands for United, but their web page had such music on it that I couldn't stand to read it and find out.
This sculpture is amazing. A lifesize herd of 40 cattle heading over the hill. It is a sight to see. A great photo opportunity. Commemorating the trails that brought settlers to Dallas and cattle to market, the park features native plants and trees, a flowing stream and a larger than life bronze cattle drive. Each bronze piece - 40 longhorn cattle herded by 3 cowboys on horses was created by artist Roberts Summers of Glen Rose, Texas.
This little cemetery dates back to 1852 and was the resting place of prominent early pioneers. Civil War Veterans are also buried here. Four early Dallas mayors are also buried here.
The graveyard was laid out on a hill which now overlooks Pioneer Plaza and as a good view of the downtown. This site was chosen less for the view but more for the fact that the Trinity River was known to flood at that time.
The Confederate Memorial is at the back of Pioneer Cemetery and in front of one of the Convention Centre entrances. At the top of the memorial is Johnny Reb soldier. At the corners stand statues are Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Albert Johnston.
Pioneer Park is a commemoration to Dallas’ beginnings with the trails that brought settlers to Dallas. The plaza is a re-creation of a longhorn cattle drive in bronze with longhorn steers being driven by three cowboys on horses. This is the largest bronze monument in the world and the largest adjoining open space in downtown Dallas.
Pioneer Plaza takes up around 4.2 acres of land that was once a parking lot.
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